South Carolina offense sloppy in first fall scrimmage
Steve Spurrier’s first priority during fall practice is ensuring all players are healthy for South Carolina’s season opener against Texas A&M on Aug. 28.
After Saturday’s first scrimmage, it appears the expected high-powered offense still has a few questions that need to be answered before game prep begins.
“I thought our offense didn’t run the ball well at all … quarterbacks hit a few here and there,” Spurrier said on a saturated field inside Williams-Brice Stadium. “Overall, pretty sloppy.”
Shotgun snaps have been inconsistent throughout camp and a few more were skipped the quarterbacks’ way during the scrimmage.
Redshirt sophomores Clayton Stadnik and Cody Waldrop are the Gamecocks’ only two centers on roster and each have struggled on occasion in recent days. Waldrop’s the projected first-teamer after making six starts last season following veteran T.J. Johnson’s departure.
“We still can’t snap the ball to the quarterback in the shotgun very well,” Spurrier said. “We should be a lot better at that.”
Pharoh Cooper, a second-year wide receiver who made an immediate impact last season as a freshman, made a one-handed touchdown catch from third-team quarterback Perry Orth that brought cheers from the pocket of fans in attendance on a wet, overcast morning in Columbia.
Spurrier appreciated the secondary’s help on the reception.
“T.J. (Gurley) had him covered pretty well and he sort of pulled off, which we encourage our players to do,” Spurrier said. “Even though Pharoh made a nice play there, in the game he would’ve probably gotten clobbered.
“Pharoh’s ready to be a starter we believe. He and Shaq Roland had another good scrimmage … caught a bunch of passes.”
Redshirt sophomore Brendan Nosovitch practiced for the second consecutive day after Spurrier gave him Thursday off to ponder his mid-week decision to transfer after sliding on the depth chart. It appears Nosovitch will stay and work primarily at tight end and as a Wildcat quarterback.
“Hopefully, he’s here to stay,” Spurrier said.
According to The State’s David Cloninger, quarterback Dylan Thompson completed 9-of-15 passes for 114 yards during Saturday’s scrimmage while second-stringer Connor Mitch went 6-for-9 for 52 yards. Mike Davis was the top contributor for a non-existent running game with 11 yards on four carries.
Chaz Elder intercepted Orth for the practice’s lone pick. Freshman receiver Tyshun ‘Deebo’ Samuel hauled in three catches for 45 yards and a score.
South Carolina’s Fan Appreciation Day is Sunday at Colonial Life Arena. Autograph sessions with players starts at 1 p.m.
The Gamecocks’ final fall scrimmage is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Aug. 16.